The Night Is Dark

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.

Malika carried herself through the gateway to Triennell, as the holy man called it. To her it was simply Trien, the next town down from her now desolate village. If only there had been walls... no, she wouldn't think about that. It was too painful, too fresh, to contemplate.

She stood apart from the two men, clutching still her wounded shoulder, fingers of coldness creeping in once again. Whatever the deathless had done to her, its work was not yet finished. She almost missed the call of the holy man's name, but hearing it piqued her interest enough to notice the newcomer in his shabby robes.

Another holy man? she thought. She couldn't tell. The man -- Merall? -- greeted Reliath with concern first then outright shock. She couldn't blame him. Both she and the holy man must look a frightening sight after the night's ordeal.

She was exhausted. Between the battles she had fought and her injury, her body was depleted, and all she wanted to do was sleep. That choice was soon taken from her.

She passed out.

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